TALK `N Text guns for a third straight trip to the PBA Philippine Cup Finals as the defending champions try to finish off the gritty Alaska Aces in Game Six of their semifinals series Friday at the Astrodome.
The Tropang Texters lock horns with the Aces at 6:45 p.m., aiming to deliver the final blow against their embattled opponents and inch closer to becoming the first team since Crispa to win a hat-trick of All-Filipino championships.
A third straight appearance will also be the longest by any team since Purefoods (now San Mig Coffee) made it to seven straight Finals in an all-Filipino conference from 1988 to 1994.
Alaska coach Luigi Trillo, however, is out to derail the Texters' quest for history as he expects the Aces to go full steam ahead in trying to forge a deciding Game Seven on Sunday.
Trillo said their 95-99 loss to the reigning champions in Game Five was due to their lack of effort and focus during the endgame.
“I’m not gonna make excuses. Our effort was not there. We need some adjustment on the effort part,” Trillo told Spin.ph.
Despite the 2-3 deficit staring his team, the 37-year-old Trillo remains confident they have what it takes to end Talk ‘N Text’s two-year Philippine Cup reign.
“I think we’re capable of beating them (Tropang Texters). We beat them three times this conference. We’re the only other team to beat them after Ginebra. We have the pieces here,” added Trillo.
Talk `N Text coach Norman Black, meanwhile, said defense will get the Texters over the hump.
“We have a tendency to play good defense in one game and seem to lose it in the next,” admitted Black. “Of course I give Alaska credit for that. They’re also a very good team, and they make adjustments as the series goes on.”
Black said even with a talented and experienced bunch led by one-time MVP Jimmy Alapag, Jayson Castro, Ranidel de Ocampo, Larry Fonacier, and Kelly Williams leading the way, beating Alaska entails a lot of effort.
“But at the same time, we just have to come out with the same effort we had and execute like we did if we want to win and make it to the Finals,” he added.